Tonawanda News — For adults, there is some more specialized care offered at WNY Immediate Care, for instance, where some of their facilities offer even more advanced diagnostics like a CT scan, something most urgent cares don’t have.
Some have special partnership with doctors, like MASH Urgent Care, which collaborates with, among others, the 900 or so physicians with Catholic Medical Partners, like Dr. Edward Stehlik.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what your primary care physician suggests is the best urgent care facility for your particular illness or injury.
Urgent cares don’t replace your doctor
Every doctor we interviewed for this article said the first thing to do when considering visiting an urgent care facility is to call your primary care physician if you have one.
The biggest concern Stehlik, whose practice, Northtowns Medical Group, is located in the Town of Tonawanda, has with urgent care centers is that people are using them when they should be going to their doctor instead.
“Some people perceived (urgent cares) would solve an issue to deal with missed patients, those not sick enough to go to the emergency room but needed some type of care that was more than a medical office could provide or during hours when one isn’t opened,” he said.
Some of the patients going to urgent cares aren’t fitting that model, though, he said.
“Many people going to urgent care centers are people who are best cared for in their doctor’s office because for the types of issues they have or times they’re going in they can also be seen in physicians’ offices,” Stehlik said.
All four urgent care facilities interviewed for this story said they transfer medical records from all visits to a patients’ primary care doctor, but Stehlik said patients should always try contacting their own doctor first, even if it’s during late hours or on weekends.